Damian Thompson has a provocative post in which he asks, "Is Pope Benedict losing the confidence of the Latin Mass faithful?" He points out that since the publication of Summorum Pontificum the provision of TLM there has been barely an increase in its availability. Damian blames the bishops, this is unfair, Summorum Pontificum specifically places the onus on parish priests to meet peoples demands, it is only if the priest is unable to meet the people's request that the bishop is to be involved, if he can't help then Rome becomes involved.
Damian fears that the freedom given to the traditional Mass by the Pope will not outlive his pontificate but I think that Damian fails to understand the clever thing about this document, unlike any other document that has been issued in the last 50 years, is that it gives authority to priest, it creates a grassroots movement at parish rather than diocesan level. A right having been given by one Pope is not going to be taken away by another. The other significant thing is that the TLM is now visible, it is being discussed in Seminaries, being celebrated, at least occasionally in our Cathedrals, it is no longer treaty as the bogeyman.
I really do think that it is unfair to blame the bishops. My own bishop, who I doubt would ever want to celebrate the TLM, has asked at least one newly ordained priest to learn to say it and has asked repeatedly for someone to say it in another part of the diocese. Bishops of the past maybe culpable for not insisting their clergy have a knowledge of the language of the Church, and for demonising the liturgy of their youth and Bishops of the present, like their priests, cling to what they know, they don't understand and therefore do not encourage the Pope's reforms, but that is far from standing in their way, or acting against them, as some might suggest.
In the United States one can expect large congregations at the TLM, in this country unless it is High Mass or a Missa Cantata the congregations tends to be reasonably small, and outside of London or the ancient University Cities reasonably elderly, but then American congregations tend to be five or tens times larger than the average UK congregation. Here in Brighton at our monthly Sunday TLM the congregation is smaller than our weekday Masses.
For those who are unhappy about the availability of the TLM, there is good news, most seminarians I know want to celebrate it when they are ordained and a small stream of older priests are relearning it and want an opportunity to celebrate it. I even hear that a "trained liturgist" or two are learning it. Pope Benedict has set something going that will not bear fruit in his life time but already there are green shoots.
One big problem that Damian doesn't address is that a whole generation has grown up where traditional catholic worship is something they have never experienced. Liturgy and prayer has changed drastically in this generation, young couples arranging their wedding talk of the hymns of their youth, the 80s, as being traditional. They have little understanding of how to pray, either privately or liturgically, unless it is the style of a pentecostal praise service, they are ill catechised, with hardly any knowledge of scripture.
When younger people do encounter the TLM, especially with its chant, unless they are totally bored, they meet something that is truly "extraordinary", it teaches them how to pray, how to be silent in the presence of the God. It opens the door to the whole treasury of Catholic spirituality. For the most part their encounter with the Church's Tradition is going to be through the Ordinary Form, well celebrated and with roots in rich humus of the Church's spiritual riches. Reform of the Reform is a more realistic option than a wholesale and immediate return to the TLM, but my experience is the more people are exposed to the Ancient Rite, the more they are drawn to it, that applies to priests as well as laity.